In this world of fantasy football, we move most players around like pawns on a chessboard. We don’t care about how long we have them as long as they get us what we want, but some players are better than that. You, Jordan Reed, were better than that. Your dominance on the gridiron was awe inspiring…and rule inspiring. If he plays, you play him. Rule 86. That was what the wise men said. But with my playoff hopes on the line, you were nowhere to be found. Before I can decide where we are going, let’s look at where we started.
Coming into 2016, I was sold…on Rob Gronkowski. I was keeping him in keeper leagues. Drafting him at the turn in re-draft leagues. I knew he was going to be great. Then, I read an article. Fellow Ballers writer Nate Hamilton told stories of how waiting 2 rounds and taking you in the draft was the right thing to do…and I did. I only played in 5 leagues this year…and I had Jordan Reed in 4 of them. The first 5 weeks of the season went well enough. You didn’t play outstanding but no TE did. You never scored fewer than 7 fantasy points, were a borderline TE1 in all 5 weeks, and were the #1 TE in Week 4.
But then it happened…another concussion. Coming into the season, I had heard that one more concussion would end your career so I was legitimately worried for you…and my teams. After a 2 week absence, you returned and with a bang. Over the next 4 games, you were only outside of the TE1 ranks once and were the #1 weekly tight end twice over that span. Then on Thanksgiving, we all saw that shoulder injury. It was a heroic performance that signaled the beginning of the end. Weeks 13-16 you scored 2.6 points…total. You let us down when we needed you most.
Initially, I shunned Rule 86. If he plays, play him? Why? Did The Ballers want me to lose? Had I offended them in some way? Was this because Mike wasn’t verified? I was hurt. After the season I knew I had to decide whether you would be on any of my teams in 2017. So, I looked over some things and was surprised by my findings. Despite missing 4 games, you were the TE9 overall. TE9 despite only seeing the 11th most targets. You played the fewest games of any TE in the top 15. When looking at a per game average, your were the TE2 overall. It was clear to me, Rule 86 is alive and (hopefully) well. The tight ends of 2016 were disgusting. Travis Kelce led the position with 180 points in Ballers Preferred Scoring. That’s the lowest total for a leader since 2006.
It was a bad year for all and I will not hold you, Jordan Reed, accountable. In your meaningless Week 17 game against the playoff-bound Giants, you scored a TD. You were 4th on your team in targets in only 12 games. It is very likely that DeSean Jackson will not be back next year, meaning you stand to be an even bigger part of that offense. Things are looking bright for 2017, as long as they bring Kirk Cousins back. He passed for 750 more yards in 2016 than he had in his first year as a starter. Your success seems tied to his success. Take this offseason to get healthy and I look forward to seeing Rule 86 back in effect in 2017.
I guess this was my long way of saying: I forgive you, Jordan Reed.
Best Wishes for 2017,